Can I freeze mozzarella cheese?
Yes! You can freeze mozzarella cheese.
The word mozzarella comes from the word ‘mozzarre,' which means ‘to cut off.' It is one of the most popular cheeses in America. It is an unripened soft cheese that originated from the Battipalgia region of Italy.
Mozzarella cheese is made traditionally from the milk of Italian buffalo raised in specific areas of Italy. However, in America and other European countries, it is made from cow milk. Mozzarella cheese is produced using the following foolproof method;
- The milk is heated,
- Poured into a cream separator,
- Curled with the help of whey and finally matured.
- Afterward, the cheese is softened with hot water then shaped into balls.
- Immediately it is placed in cold water and finally pickled.
The process of preparing mozzarella cheese is very intricate and results in a tasty delicacy.
You can find mozzarella cheese in a variety of forms such as sliced cheese, string cheese, shredded cheese, blocks of pizza cheese, and balls of high-moisture soft mozzarella.
The finished cheese which is lightly salted is white and soft. It’s highly valued for its stretch properties.
Mozzarella is mainly used as a topping for pizza owing mostly to its stretch properties. There are many other countless uses for mozzarella, but it also has a short shelf life.
Knowing how to freeze mozzarella cheese is essential for long-term use.
Freezing mozzarella cheese.
Freezing mozzarella cheese takes a few minutes to prepare; you will then have fresh cheese whenever you need it. Mozzarella cheese is the best type of cheese for freezing as it retains its flavors and is always consistent.
You should consider eating mozzarella cheese every day, as it is good for your health and is packed with various nutritional properties.
- The smooth cheese contains calcium, a mineral that is essential for the body. Calcium is good as it aids the health of your bone structure.
- It is also packed with phosphorous, which is a mineral that enables the body to use calcium.
- It is a good source of biotin, which helps to lower blood glucose levels and keep nails and hair healthy.
- You also get a lot of riboflavin, which helps your body combat migraines and anemia.
- The cheese contains a lot of niacin, which turns fat into energy.
- Mozzarella cheese also contains potassium, iron, sodium, and chloride
How to freeze Mozzarella Cheese.
Different types of cheese differ in the packaging and freezing processes.
All cheese types require one to always be careful to remove the air from the bags of storage to prevent ice from forming. This can lead to freezer burn.
Freezer seal bags are the best, particularly re-sealable or vacuum bags. Depending on the type of mozzarella cheese, whether soft, sliced, or shredded, the freezing style will differ.
Can you freeze the mozzarella cheese block? For soft mozzarella cheese, you will need soft mozzarella blocks, freezer bags, and proper labels. If the cheese blocks are too small, you can leave them in their original packs and place them in the freezer.
Can you freeze sliced mozzarella cheese?
To freeze sliced mozzarella cheese, you will need a package of sliced mozzarella cheese, freezer bags (alternatively vacuum seal bags), wax paper, and proper labels.
To freeze sliced mozzarella cheese;
- Take sheets of wax paper and sandwich each slice of cheese between the wax paper.
- Trim the wax paper to fit correctly in the freezer bags.
- Removed all the air from the bags, then label and freeze them.
Shredded mozzarella cheese can cluster together when frozen which is why it is essential to keep the pieces apart when freezing.
To freeze shredded mozzarella cheese, you will need one pack of shredded mozzarella cheese, a plastic wrap, a baking sheet, freezer bags, and some labels.
- Spread out a cookie sheet and spread the shredded cheese in a single layer.
- Consider sprinkling some flour on the cheese and toss, as the flour will prevent the cheese from sticking together.
- Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for ten minutes to allow the cheese to harden. Then divide the mozzarella into single portions, wrapping each piece in the plastic wrap while making sure to rid out any air.
- Get rid of the air by squeezing out the plastic bag before sealing. Take these wrapped cheese slices, and double wrap them and place them in plastic bags.
- Label each container before putting them in the freezer. Labeling the cheese will help you identify which cheese to consume first before others.
How to freeze mozzarella cheese may be one of the most challenging tasks, as it should ideally be consumed a day after you have made it.
It can lose its original texture and flavor after freezing. In some instances, it might also taste a little different.
Wrapping your cheese before freezing is essential, to avoid freezer burn. Freezer burn happens when frozen food that has not been adequately covered oxidizes and becomes dehydrated.
It may damage the menu or destroy its flavor and texture. The taste may become different. Remember to wrap each mozzarella in reasonably small pieces, as this will help to thaw the cheese much faster.
How to Thaw Frozen Mozzarella cheese.
Thawing frozen mozzarella cheese requires as much effort as freezing them does. If you want to retain the flavor and consistency of your cheese, take considerable effort during the thawing process as much as during the freezing process.
When you bring mozzarella cheese to room temperature too quickly, you can affect its texture and flavor. Thaw your cheese in the right way to keep it fresh and yummy.
How to thaw and use the cheese depends on the type of mozzarella cheese you use. For fresh and block mozzarella cheese types, you should consider placing them in the refrigerator for a few hours before using them.
Block cheese may typically require more than eight hours in the fridge before using, while fresh mozzarella may take lesser time. The warm temperature in the refrigerator will kick-start the thawing process, without altering the taste or the texture of the cheese.
For shredded mozzarella, however, it may not need thawing since it will just melt on the dish you are making such as pizza.
Just remove the shredded cheese from its packaging and top it over pizza, soups, and other dishes. It will melt on the food just perfect.
Do not move your cheese directly from the freezer to the table counter to thaw. You should place the frozen cheese in the refrigerator hours before you intend to use it.
Placing cheese at room temperature may also encourage the development of harmful bacteria, which is dangerous for you. Soft mozzarella will change in texture after spending time in the freezer for a considerable amount of time.
To get mozzarella cheese back to its original creamy and consistent feel, you can add some milk onto it then place the cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds then stir.
Always thaw the cheese that you intend to use. Use thawed cheese right away and do not refreeze previously frozen and thawed mozzarella. Doing this can get the cheese contaminated. Always plan before and thaw the cheese safely in your refrigerator before use.
How long can fresh mozzarella last in the fridge
|Opened and frozen||Up to 2 months|
|Opened and refrigerated||3 weeks|
|Unopened and frozen||5 months after the use-by date|
|Unopened and refrigerated||1 month after the use-by date|
How long does mozzarella cheese last unrefrigerated
|Opened and at room temperature as long as it is not in tropical climate.||3 days|
|Unopened and at room temperature as long as you don’t stay in tropical climate region.||5 days|
How long does a block of mozzarella cheese last?
|Frozen at 40 degrees Fahrenheit||6 months|
|Refrigerated at 35 degrees Fahrenheit||3 weeks|
|Unfrozen or unrefrigerated||3 days|
How long does low moisture mozzarella last?
|On the shelf||1 week|
Why freeze Mozzarella cheese?
Mozzarella cheese has a short shelf life, therefore needs to be frozen to maintain its freshness. We also freeze mozzarella to retain its unique flavor and taste.
Mozzarella cheese has a vibrant and unique flavor that is hard to miss. When heated it melts and becomes soft and creamy.
This makes it the most suitable cheese for all types of baked dishes. Moreover, it tastes amazingly good when paired with wine and dessert — the best use of mozzarella being of course pizza.
Mozzarella is an excellent type of cheese because it is tasty and flexible and you can use it on a variety of dishes. One such type is pizza with frozen mozzarella cheese.
Also See: The Best Way to Reheat Pizza.
The process is as follows;
- Add three tablespoons of olive oil, salt, flour, and mix these ingredients.
- Stir in some flour, and knead this into a smooth and elastic dough.
- Flatten the dough, and pat it into pizza pans.
- Meanwhile, add tomatoes, oil, oregano, and garlic cloves and blend these into a puree until smooth.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce. Bake this at 475 degrees Fahrenheit until the crust and cheese are golden brown.
- Remove the pizzas from the oven, sprinkle the basil leaves on top of the cheese and enjoy.
The best way to enjoy your mozzarella is by cutting a wedge from the sphere, just like you would do for a cake, to enjoy the soft middle part and the slightly tougher edge.
You can also choose to have your mozzarella cheese by adding other ingredients, such as adding tomato and basil.
If frozen cheese has stayed for more than a month in the freezer, use them as soon as possible to avoid wastage.
How do you know if fresh mozzarella is bad
Inspect the mozzarella cheese using your eyes for any presence of mold. When bacteria start breaking down cheese, mold starts forming.
Mold the grows on cheese will either be blue or green and considering mozzarella is white in color, spotting the pattern won’t be hard.
Look out for dryness or hardening around the edges. When stored in the wrong way for a long time, the moisture that comes with fresh mozzarella. In case the cheese has hardened at the edges but doesn’t show any signs of molds, cut out the dried parts, and you can still use the remaining.
Also, smelling the mozzarella will help you know if it’s gone rotten or fresh. If you can recognize the smell of sour milk, it means the mozzarella isn’t safe for consumption.
Lastly, if there are telltale signs of your mozzarella being bad, you’re still unsure and cut a small piece and taste. In case of sourness and sharpness in taste, you’ll know it’s time to discard your cheese.
How can you tell if mozzarella is low in moisture?
As compared to the fresh mozzarella found in fancy containers, mozzarella that is low in moisture has little water content. Moreover, the cheese stays longer to age and sour, which eventually affects its shelf life, texture, cooking method, and taste.
In most cases, mozzarella with low moisture is sold in string cheese, pre-shredded bags, and whole blocks. In grocery stores, you can locate it in the case close to chunks of cottage cheese, sour cream, ricotta, and cheddar cheese.
It has a saltier tangy taste as compared to the flavorful, fresh mozzarella. The low moisture mozzarella can stay in the fridge for ages.
Whether in block form or shredded, mozzarella with low moisture melts quickly, becoming elastic and stretchy. As it melts, it also releases some water.
How to freeze mozzarella before shredding
After opening, wrap the mozzarella loaf in a plastic wrap to ensure it doesn’t mix with air so that it remains fresh for a long time. To avoid freezer burns, place the wrapped mozzarella in an excellent quality resealable Ziploc bag.
Additionally, freezing mozzarella before shredding is a great idea, however; double wrapping the chunk will increase its shelf life.
The moment it approaches its date of expiry, use it to avoid wasting such a precious piece.